†Saint Quote "Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." — St. Augustine
†Meditation of the Day "If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all. But, fortunately, it works the other way around. Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself." — C. S. Lewis, p. 78 An Excerpt From Mere Christianity
†Verse of the Day "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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St. Bernardino Realino (1530–1616) was born in Italy to a noble family. He grew into an accomplished "Renaissance Man" of his day; he studied law and medicine, had a successful career as an attorney and judge, and served as the mayor of three cities. At the age of 34 he completed an eight-day retreat with Jesuit priests, and during this time he discerned a call to the religious life. He entered the Jesuit order and was ordained a priest in 1567. As a priest he preached, taught, and visited the sick and poor in the areas of Naples and Lecce. He was much loved and venerated by the people he ministered to, especially because of the miracles he performed. It was commonly believed among the people that he was a living saint. Even public scandal and civil strife were calmed due to his holy influence. While he was on his death bed, the city leaders of Lecce came to request of him that he become the official patron saint of their city once he entered heaven. After St. Bernardino's death, vials of his blood were kept for veneration, which were observed to liquefy and exhibit unusual phenomena for more than a century. St. Bernardino Realino's feast day is July 2nd
Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading I Gn 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67
The span of Sarah's life was one hundred and twenty-seven years. She died in Kiriatharba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham performed the customary mourning rites for her. Then he left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites: "Although I am a resident alien among you, sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground, that I may bury my dead wife." After the transaction, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham had now reached a ripe old age, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. Abraham said to the senior servant of his household, who had charge of all his possessions: "Put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not procure a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live, but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred to get a wife for my son Isaac." The servant asked him: "What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?" "Never take my son back there for any reason," Abraham told him. "The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and the land of my kin, and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me, 'I will give this land to your descendants'– he will send his messenger before you, and you will obtain a wife for my son there. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be released from this oath. But never take my son back there!" A long time later, Isaac went to live in the region of the Negeb. One day toward evening he went out . . . in the field, and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching. Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him, she alighted from her camel and asked the servant, "Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?" "That is my master," replied the servant. Then she covered herself with her veil.
The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done. Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent; he married her, and thus she became his wife. In his love for her, Isaac found solace after the death of his mother Sarah.
Responsorial Psalm 106:1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5
R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever. Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD,
or proclaim all his praises? R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just. Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people. R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Visit me with your saving help, That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of your people,
and glory with your inheritance. R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Alleluia Mt 11:28 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 9:9-13
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" He heard this and said, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 9:9-13
Many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus. (Matthew 9:10)
Since Matthew was a prosperous tax collector in Galilee, it probably wasn't unusual for him to invite people to his house for a dinner party. But the night he invited Jesus was different—not only for Matthew, but for his guests as well. Let's imagine what one of these guests might have been thinking that night.
"Looks like Matthew's house is busy again—there's light shining from the windows and the sound of voices drifting into the street. I can't wait to see what's on the menu.
"Hang on! There are some people here I don't recognize. They don't look like tax collectors; more like wanderers or fishermen. I wonder what they're doing here. Matthew seems to be paying special attention to one of them. I think I'll sit with them and see what's going on.
"This Jesus fellow seems friendly enough. He sure likes telling stories, and he seems pretty comfortable with everyone. I hear he's a renowned teacher and healer, and yet he seems genuinely happy to be here with us. Talking with him, I can tell that he's really listening. He's genuinely interested in me. He's telling me about a kingdom where God's love is available even to people like me. I want to know more, but I don't think I'd deserve to be part of it.
"Oh, this should be interesting. Here come some Pharisees to debate with Jesus. They must think he shouldn't be here with us outcasts.
"What did he just say? 'I did not come to call the righteous but sinners' (Matthew 9:13). Amazing! He came for me! That's why such a good man is sitting here in such an unlikely place. He is here to call me into his kingdom!"
Jesus was willing to be present in an unlikely place so that the light of his presence would shine. He was willing to bring the good news wherever he went. You can do the same thing, whether you are at a party, at work or school, or at the laundromat. If you are present—attentive, loving, and ready—you can bring the gospel no matter where you go. Who knows what God might do?
"Jesus, I want to bring the good news with me wherever I am."
Genesis 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67 Psalm 106:1-5
Listen to 2cents
my2cents: Abraham told his servant about going back to where he came from: "Never take my son back there for any reason," Abraham told him. "The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and the land of my kin, and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me, 'I will give this land to your descendants'– he will send his messenger before you, and you will obtain a wife for my son there. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be released from this oath." Most movies, and most talks I hear are about family. And what I am about to say is controversial. It's not all about your blood family, but, about God's family. It is evident, that God made Himself man through a blood lineage, but not all. The Holy Spirit gave birth through Mary. And Jesus leaves blood lineage in His children...those who drink of it. Can you fathom the thought? A new family. We in Christ are a formidable family called to live our heritage of God's love.
We pray in the Holy Psalms the language of our Lord: "Visit me with your saving help, That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, rejoice in the joy of your people, and glory with your inheritance. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."
In the Holy Gospel we heard: "As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him."
Our Lord winds up at his house, eating dinner with Matt's friends and relatives perhaps. Somehow some Pharisees wound up at the party, asking "what's this all about?"
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" He heard this and said, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
Have you learned about mercy lately, by reading or hearing my daily reflections? I remember writing once on this scripture saying "mercy is sacrifice". We've no further to look than at the cross. God had mercy on all who wanted Him dead. He allowed it to happen. Was mercy crucified? Did mercy end?
No, the resurrection proves that mercy began in a new way. What does mercy look like? You will only know if you bring your sins to the cross. You will only know if you too become mercy and therefore...merciful. You will only know if you learn what it means to sacrifice. And the sacrificial animal pays the price, but that animal was the only thing you had to eat. And so it becomes an act of love. "This is all I got to give, and it is the best I got".
Mercy looks beyond the sin. Mercy calls us to leave sin. Matthew is the prime example of this. We are called to get up and rise and resurrect with Jesus. We are called to never look back, and follow with faith...what is to come.
Let's pray: Lord, I desire mercy. I desire You my Lord and Father. I desire what you desire, and I know this will call for sacrifice. Therefore, I pray for grace to see and love enough to give the best of my life to You, every day...until the eternity in the land you promised is fulfilled...a life with You, for the sake of Thy Kingdom.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.
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